Halloween Crafts, Thanksgiving Crafts and Year Round Holiday Crafting

by Debra
(Utica, NY)

Year-Round Holiday Crafts for the Elderly

Crafting is a wonderful activity that keeps the mind stimulated, the laughter flowing, and the memories alive.

All too often, activities directors, adult children and caregivers forget the wealth of opportunities available through crafting. Crafting for seniors goes way beyond coloring place mats or decorations for a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Get beyond the crayons and the construction paper and come up with a variety of unique ideas that will encourage your parents and elderly loved ones to benefit from the tactile impressions, fine motor skills and dexterity and visual recognition and, most importantly, the creativity that encourages the brain to develop new neural pathways and nerve cells.

As you can see, crafting is more than an art project, but can involve all the senses and can be engaged through every season of the year.

Year Round Holiday Crafts

From egg painting and tissue flower making in the spring to patriotic wood painting, to twig and leaf decorations and art projects that can be made in the fall, to wonderful Christmas or Hanukkah decorations in winter, crafts provide hours of enjoyment for seniors everywhere. Crafts can be geared to meet the specialized physical and cognitive abilities of your loved ones regardless of environment.

Crafting and artwork has been shown to increase manual dexterity, fine motor movement, and increase depth perception, creativity and memory. In addition to those extremely beneficial results of crafting, gathering as a group with friends and loved ones provides much needed social stimulation for seniors, regardless of where they live.

Make every week or month a holiday in your home or facility by developing creative, unique and catered crafts for residents or loved ones to keep their brains and memories stimulated.

Crafting doesn't have to be expensive and with a few basic ingredients can provide enjoyment year round. Holidays throughout the year will stimulate the imagination, from creating Christmas crafts to Halloween crafts to Thanksgiving crafts to the 4th of July.

Don't forget Saint Paddy's day or Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve or May Day. Holidays in the United States offer at least one theme per month that offer activity directors, caregivers or
adult children taking care of elderly loved ones at home a wealth of ideas and opportunities.

Crafting doesn't have to be expensive, and can utilize a variety of inexpensive store- bought supplies as well as those you can pick up from your backyard. Inexpensive supplies for seasonal crafting may include but is not limited to some basics:

• Brightly colored tissue and construction paper

• Glue or hot glue guns and products like Mod Podge
• Various string, yarn or twine

• Glass jars or bowls

• Candles

With just a few such basic supplies that can be stored in a box, you and your loved ones can create fun, unique and one of a kind gifts, mementos, and decorations for homes, nursing home rooms, or for grandchildren throughout the year.

Crafting Encourages Stimulation

Even if Mom has been diagnosed with arthritis, or Dad experiences symptoms of Parkinson's or dementia, chances are you'll find a craft that you can help them create or they can do themselves, encouraging independence, stimulation, and fine motor movements.
Start your parent or a loved one off with the easier crafts, judge their capabilities, and know when to step back or when to step in and help.

Provide an encouraging demeanor and when getting started, make crafts side by side with Mom or Dad and share a few laughs, perhaps some memories, and reminisces by your parents of holiday seasons of the past.

Crafting is a great way to provide social interaction for elderly individuals often left to their own devices for long periods. Crafts don't have to be fancy, but merely encourage interaction and activity.

Do you remember crafting in school - the smell of glue, construction paper, and sharing in the giggles and enjoyment of creating something to give Mom or Dad for a holiday occasion?
You probably do, and chances are your elderly loved ones do also.

Encourage them to continue such traditions, and while catering crafts to their physical and cognitive abilities, push yourself and your loved ones to challenge their capabilities when it comes to creating lovely crafts that will serve as a lasting memorial and testimonial to your love and dedication for their care.

Comments for Halloween Crafts, Thanksgiving Crafts and Year Round Holiday Crafting

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by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your article on crafting. There was so much great information included in it.

It gave me a great idea for mom and her housemates for this Halloween; we can wrap a couple pieces of candy inside some orange tool and tie it up with black ribbon! It will make it a little more fun for them to pass out candy to the kids.

Mom (at 88) is still weaving and crocheting! As long as I keep her loom warped, she'll weave and her selvedges are still perfectly straight!

Although mom has a hard time keeping patterns straight she keep working with her hands everyday.

Thanks again!
mary in Santa Rosa ca

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